A Dept of Labor news release went out last week that showed a judge found a New Jersey company and its president in contempt of court after failing to pay $412,000 in penalties for OSHA violations. As it turns out, you actually DO have to pay those OSHA fines.
The contempt ruling came from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. It found that Altor Inc., a New Jersey-based construction company and its president, Vasilio Saites, were in contempt of court for not paying penalties in the amount of $412,000. The OSHA penalties had cited Altor with multiple willful violations of fall protection standards.
We found it interesting that the court ruled Saites liable to pay the penalty if Altor Inc. doesn’t. Additionally, Altor and/or Saites must make the payment in full within 30 days. If they don’t pay or give an explanation as to why they can’t, the Secretary of Labor will propose a daily penalty. That could add up quickly.
Our takeaway from this is that not only can companies be held liable for OSHA fines, but key leadership can also be held responsible. That should be a big wakeup call. It’s a big heads up to business owners to take OSHA safety (and any violations and fines) seriously. And if you are found in violation—you do have to pay those OSHA fines!
See our article: Tips on Keeping OSHA Away from your Jobsite.
For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
Have you run into any OSHA issues? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear your story.
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